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Baseball’s return features
power and some shifty
defenses. 3B

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2018 THE DAILY TIMES 1B

Breaking up the Union UT head coach


‘ticked off ’
after fourth
spring practice
BY AUSTIN BORNHEIM
austinb@thedailytimes.com

KNOXVILLE — For the first time during


this young spring, Tennessee coach Jer-
emy Pruitt walked off the field unhappy
with his team.
But Pruitt wasn’t quite sure what he was
upset about.
“Interesting day out there today,” Pruitt
said following the Vols fourth spring prac-
tice. “For me, I’m coming off the field
and I’m ticked off and I don’t know if it’s
because I’m mad the way the whole team
practiced or the offense kicked our tail. I
haven’t figured it out yet. I got to watch
tape and see.”
He didn’t believe his team “responded”
well after having two days off since the
most recent practice Saturday.
“We’ve got to fix that,” he said. “We need
to be having spring practice every day;
wish we had 30 of them. But we only get 15
and I’m not sure everybody took advantage
of their opportunities today. We’ll watch
the tape and see if that’s right or now.

SEE TICKED, 4B

ALCOA’S BRIANA SHOEMAKER HITS a home run Tuesday against Union County at Alcoa.
DARYL SULLIVAN | THE DAILY TIMES Barnes looking for
quantity, quality
Shoemaker’s three-run blast powers Alcoa past Pats during off-season
BY LAUREN MOORE PREP SOFTBALL
laurenm@thedailytimes.com
ALCOA 5, Union County 3 BY TAYLOR WHITE
Briana Shoemaker rested the bat on taylorw@thedailytimes.com
her shoulder and looked down to her That brought up Shoemaker, who put
Alcoa head coach at third base after a the deficit into the rearview mirror for KNOXVILLE — Rick Barnes made it
pitch, one she thought was a ball that Alcoa (4-3). clear throughout the season that minutes
was called a strike on the outside corner. “We had gone through our lineup about are earned, but it’s not just the work in a
The junior catcher didn’t agree with three times, and in our third time, we
the call, but she didn’t dwell on it. She started hitting,” Shoemaker said. “We AP’s Men’s All-America squad features three
did agree with the next pitch, giving it knew his strike zone at that point and freshman for first time. 5B
the full brunt of her frustration. we had a great part in the field. We knew
Union County pitcher Makayla Weaver we had to earn those runs back and we two-hour practice session that translates
spun that pitch right into Shoemaker’s just came in and just hit it.” to playing time when the ball is tipped.
zone and the junior responded by crush- The Lady T’s fell behind rather quick- The work that goes on when nobody else
ing it over center field for a three-run ly after Brown, who struck out 10 over is around is just as important.
homer that sealed a 5-3 Alcoa victory seven innings, allowed a home run to It’s that kind of work that Barnes is look-
over visiting Union County on Tuesday. leadoff hitter Maggie Middleton to start ing for as the team transitions from its first
“The first three batters before me were the first inning. NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014
killing the ball and making really good Brown settled down after the solo shot, to a crucial offseason, as the Vols look to
contact,” Shoemaker told The Daily allowing two more runs — both in the take the next step in building a program.
Times. “I just knew at that point we were fifth — on eight hits. “If you sit down with our players and
down a few runs, and I had to come up “That home run started really early in asked them to list the players one through
and get a hit. It paid off. Everybody was the game,” Shoemaker said. “It was the sixteen in terms of who puts the most
hitting and it just folded. It was there in first inning, first batter. Honestly, it’s just time in, who works, who is competitive,”
my zone and I swung.” one of those, we had to come back and Barnes told reporters on Monday. “They
After Union County posted a two-run ALCOA’S BRIANA SHOEMAKER CELEBRATES while there was a whole lot more ballgame. could do it. They wouldn’t miss. The bot-
fifth inning — highlighted by an Audrey rounding second after hitting a three-run hom- There were six more innings we had to tom line is the guys who end up playing
Roach diving catch at shortstop to save a er Tuesday against Union County. overcome, and that’s what we did. We are the guys who earn those minutes. The
run — to take a 3-1 lead, the Lady Torna- overcame and adapted.” guys that play will be the guys that go out
does’ bats caught fire in the bottom half. put runners on the corners. Roach ripped The Alcoa offense adjusting aided and earn it every single day.”
With one out, back-to-back singles a hit of her own to score Cameron from
from Sienna Cameron and Allie Brown second base, inching within a run. SEE UNION, 4B SEE BARNES, 4B

3,000 hits milestone could become Road to one of baseball’s magical numbers
The 3,000-hit watch is on for Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who goes into the 2018
season only 32 hits away from becoming the 32nd member in that prestigious club. This likely

even more elusive following Pujols


will be the fourth season in a row that a player reaches that milestone, something that has
never happened before in Major League Baseball. After Pujols, there is a widening gap
between active players who could get close to joining the club.
TOP ACTIVE PLAYERS ON 3,000-HITS LIST
Career hits (seasons played • age in parentheses) PER SEASON
HITS 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400 2600 2800 3000
BY STEPHEN HAWKINS if feels like to win an MVP, Just how hard? Ichiro Suzuki
AP Sports Writer to be an All-Star, to win a There are only 31 players 3,080 (17 • 44)
Gold Glove” said Cano, the who have done it. And the Adrian Beltre
3,048 (20 • 38)
Robinson Cano dreamed Seattle Mariners’ second only two active in the majors Albert Pujols
as a kid of going to bat with baseman. “When you’re are 44-year-old outfielder 2,968 (17 • 38)
Miguel Cabrera
the bases loaded, two outs a kid, you think, ‘I wish I Ichiro Suzuki, back with 2,636 (15 • 34)
in the bottom of the ninth could get 3,000 one day.’ Seattle; and Texas Rang- Robinson Cano
inning in Game 7 of the ... It’s one of those things ers third baseman Adrian 2,376 (13 • 35)
Jose Reyes
World Series and hitting a that once you get to the big Beltre, the 3,000-hit club’s 2,095 (15 • 34)
home run. leagues you know how hard newest member. And that ON PACE TO ACHIEVE LOFTY HEIGHTS
There was also a mile- it is, and then you under- milestone could be becom- Reaching 1,000 hits at a younger age than nine players who reached the 3,000-hit plateau, Jose Altuve has four straight 200-hit
seasons. A .316 career hitter, and 49th on the active player list, he is one player to keep an eye on to join that exclusive club.
stone number that seemed stand at the same time there ing even more elusive. Jose Altuve
so improbable: 3,000 hits. are not too many guys that 1,250 (7 • 27)
“You dream one day what get 3,000 hits. It’s hard.” SEE MILESTONE, 4B SOURCE: Baseball-Reference.com AP

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